DevPulseCon: Unleash the Engineer Within You—by Blythe Cairnes


We’ve all been to conferences where you’re constantly being hounded by recruiters and getting pitched products you’ll never use. DevPulseCon is different, it is truly a hyper-technical conference for women engineers with high quality content packed into every minute.

The morning started out with Rupa Dachere, the President and Founder of CodeChix, greeting the attendees with an opening talk. She detailed the grim fact that nearly half of the women engineers on the technical ladder would leave the their career trajectory over the next two to three years, due to the lack of opportunities and promotions that are normally reserved for their male counterparts. CodeChix was founded with this in mind and aims to turn these numbers around through technical education, advocacy and mentorship…and events like DevPulseCon.

The introduction was followed by the first panel discussion of the day: Hurdles on the Technical Career Ladder. The audience was incredibly engaged and most of the questions to the panelists came from them! I had never been to any event where the attendees opened up so quickly and candidly.

The concurrent technical talks began after the panel and included: Netflix streaming, debugging, data science, Swagger, Electron, open source, and more. The presenters all had an incredible energy and fed off of the enthusiasm from the attendees. Even in switching rooms in between talks, everyone excitedly shared what they had just learned.

Lunch was buzzing with new connections being made, as people stepped away from their laptops for a brief period to socialize.

The afternoon went straight into workshops, with a even distribution between Docker and those learning Node. Instructors for both workshops were thorough and gave plenty of coding exercises to ensure that the students gained a solid understanding of their subjects in the condensed timeframe.

The final panel talk of the day was on technical interviewing. The panelists all gave deep insight into what they look for in candidates and how they approach the variety of technical and non-technical challenges along the way.

Overall, this was the perfect sized conference. It was small enough to not feel like one was overwhelmed, but large enough to expand your developer network and make new connections. The content was purely technical and all of the presenters were able to intimately answer the audience questions due to the small classroom-inspired environment.